Jimmy Greaves made his debut for Spurs at home to Blackpool on 16th December1961. Its hard to believe now that there were some on the terraces and in the dressing room that wondered why Jimmy had been signed after all we had just won the double.
Jimmy had had some bad publicity during his short stay in Milan but his two goal performance for the reserves the week before at Plymouth had earned him good reviews and attracted just under 13,000! When the FA finally sanctioned the transfer the day before the game Bill Nicholson put him straight into the side. It was too late to include him in the programme.
News quickly spread and promises of family Christmas shopping were forgotten as 42,734 made their way to White Hart Lane. This was ten thousand up on the Saturday before when Spurs were at home.
The newsreel of the game told us 'the fans were agog to see him in action and wondered what magic he would produce today.' In his last league game before moving to Italy he had scored four times.
What magic there was, after two shots going wide he produced a goal he later described as 'one of the most spectacular he ever scored.'
The Sunday Express said ‘In the 39th minute of this unforgettable game that white-shirted Spurs storm-trooper, left-half Dave Mackay, took a quick long throw in on the left. Straight as a bullet the ball flew to right-winger Terry Medwin. A superb back-header by the Welsh international arched to Jimmy Greaves standing hemmed in by Blackpool’s defenders in front of goal. Like a flash of lightning, Greaves struck. With an acrobatic continental leap he volleyed the ball into the roof of the net and White Hart Lane exploded into a pandemonium of cheering.’
Above - The moment the Lane exploded. The ball has hit the roof off the net and is on the way down. The police officer applauds and Waters the Blackpool and England goalie is still on the way up.
One fan in the West Stand that day was to tell me ‘we all knew that Greaves was good before he arrived but that was a real stunner to open his account with the club.
The ball was headed in, Greaves lost his marker and there was this white blur and the next moment the ground seemed to explode with a roar, an incredible goal.’
Above Greaves with Cliff Jones.
Left - A circle of defenders, Greaves with Les Allen (no 9)
Below - 21 year old Greaves enters to make his debut.
Just a minute had passed with the crowd still buzzing and he notched his second.
Blanchflower to Mackay on the left and his floated cross finds Greaves who glides his header past the keeper.
Les Allen made it 3-0 at the break after which Blackpool pulled two back but no one present seemed concerned about the result. Jimmy’s hat trick came from an Allen corner, another header.
Jimmy even had a hand in the fifth as his shot came back off the post for Allen to slot home and a 5-2 victory.
Right- Greavsey supported by the 'stormtrooper' Dave Mackay.
Jimmy had scored the first of his 266 league goals for Spurs, that makes him the top goal scorer in our history.
That first hat trick was one of 15 which also puts him top of that chart for Spurs.
That first season he scored 21 goals in 22 league games, plus nine more in the FA Cup as Spurs retained the trophy.
The team that day - Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Medwin, White, Allen, Greaves and Jones
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